September 11, 2017 / 5:18 PM / a year ago

French, Italian ministers upbeat after talks on STX shipyards row

ROME (Reuters) - Italian and French ministers were upbeat after talks on Monday aimed at resolving a row over Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s (FCT.MI) blocked takeover bid for STX France shipyards.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire arrives at the MEDEF union summer forum on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, France, August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

“A constructive meeting in Rome about STX. Our common goal: a deal between France and Italy for the September 27 summit,” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire wrote on Twitter, referring to a forthcoming bilateral meeting in France.

His Italian counterpart, Pier Carlo Padoan, also called the talks “constructive”, adding that the two sides had taken a step forward towards finding a deal. Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said the encounter had been “useful”.

France angered Italy in July after it ordered a “temporary” nationalisation of STX, cancelling a deal in which state-owned Fincantieri and another Italian investor had agreed to buy a 54.6 percent stake.

France took the decision after Fincantieri, which had agreed to buy the majority stake from its former South Korean owners, refused a French government proposal to accept 50-50 ownership.

Le Maire said ahead of Monday’s meeting that he would make fresh proposals to Italy without giving details beyond saying they should be extended to Franco-Italian cooperation in the field of naval defence.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Susan Fenton

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